Could Hospitals Helping to Find Homes for the Homeless Save Money in the Long Run?
January 17, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System
Treating a homeless patient who cycles in and out of the hospital can cost facilities hundreds of thousands of dollars each year according to a January 5, 2017, article in Hospitals and Health Networks. Some hospitals are helping to address this problem by getting at its root and helping these at-risk patients find homes. The article told the story of a homeless woman who would return to one of several hospitals every few weeks with various health conditions. According to the article, before the woman found a place to live, treating her cost three hospitals $750,000 over the course of two years. “She was just cycling in and out of the hospital, not because anybody was not giving her good care or did not care about her, but because the system was broken," said the director of a nonprofit housing organization quoted in the article. In the past, the article said, hospitals would not have found any way to address the core of the woman's health problems.